The line between crazy…and a Giveaway

I read two books by Taylor Dean that blew me away! The line between sane and crazy was very fine…and sometimes invisible. I absolutely loved them…couldn’t stop thinking about them…didn’t do laundry because I HAD to finish and know if Zoe’s romance was real or all in her head. Here’s my scoop on each:

Lancaster House: Zoe Grayson is in a mental hospital after trying to kill herself. The beautiful, seemingly sweet young woman is considered unstable and dangerous as there are two dead men associated with her. The story begins with Doctor Channing doing therapy; he is leery and very careful with her. As weeks and months pass, Zoe begins to trust the doctor and tell him the story of Lancaster house and her true love…which will leave you reeling and wondering where the line between crazy really lies.

Middle Aisle: I was a little scared to read this sequel because I was terrified it might go in a direction that would make me unhappy. But the story stayed true to Lancaster House and captivated me clear to the end. I love Zoe, Andre and Doctor Channing…and the crazy plot twists that had me questioning myself (like Zoe did) about what was real and what wasn’t. The characters became dear friends who I bit my nails off for as I ached and struggled with them to find happiness…and truth.

To spread the word about these awesome books, I’ve invited Taylor Dean to visit so we can get to know her. She has graciously offered to give away a copy of both Lancaster House and Middle Aisle to one lucky commenter (ebook or print). I hope you win. Now on to the interview.

Tell us a little about yourself, Taylor.

 I am a mother of four children, three girls and one boy. My family is the most important thing in the world to me. I have three grandchildren: one grandson that is one year old, one on the way—soon to make an appearance in June, and one that we sadly lost at eight months gestation to Trisomy 18. (His story is on my blog entitled, ‘Remembering Jerad.’

I grew up a California girl, but now reside in the great state of Texas. I love to scrapbook, clean and decorate my house, (yes, I love it) and read. Did I mention that I LOVE to write?

I can’t say enough good about your books. What sparked this idea? 

 Lancaster House is a paranormal romance that I never really intended to write! However, I’ve since discovered that I love to write romance, no matter what the sub-genre is. The story of how Lancaster House came about is an interesting one. My daughter challenged me to write a paranormal story because it’s her favorite genre. “Let’s both write a paranormal story and see what comes of them,” she said. “We’ll do it together. It’ll be fun, puhleeeese, Mom.”

I told her, “I don’t want to write anything paranormal. My mind just doesn’t think that way.”  However, before we hung up I found myself promising that I would think about a plot. At this same time I was ridiculously addicted to American Idol. In the season finale, I was mesmerized by Adam Lambert’s performance of ‘Mad World.’ He wore vampire-like garb and sang on a fog-shrouded stage. This visual set my imagination on fire! That was all it took. Lancaster House began to take shape in my overactive imagination. One amazing performance=one 90,000 word novel (and now a sequel! Middle Aisle). I owe it all to my daughter for putting the bug in my ear. The results have been amazing.

Incidentally, my daughter never wrote her paranormal story!

 Tell your daughter thanks from me. These books thrilled me. Can you tell everyone why they should read your book?

In the words of a book reviewer: “I guarantee you have never read any other book that is remotely like this one!”

-Jess of Book Liaison

Now, for the soul-searching questions. What candy bar would be your motto for life?

I like to laugh a lot—it keeps my life happy—so I’ll have to say Snickers!

Hmmmm? That seems to be a favorite with authors. Which Star Wars character would you be?

Princess Leia. After all, what little girl doesn’t want to be a princess? As a young teenager I saw the first Star Wars movie in the theater and thought her crazy hairstyle was soooo cool. Now . . . not so much. But the fond memory is still there.

 She did know how to work that Hairdo. Three Adjectives your friends would use to describe you.

 Organized. Structured. Obsessive

 Lightsaber or Wand?

Wand. Magic wins over brawn.

My son might argue with you, but he’s not here, so we’ll continue. Favorite Food?

Chester’s butter flavored Puffcorn. (seriously addicted)

Most Despised Food?

Anything that comes from the ocean.

Okay. No sushi for you then. Favorite Children’s Book.

Jumanji. I fell in love with this book long before it was a movie.

I loved the monkeys in the movie. Favorite Books.

Almost anything by Nicholas Sparks or Victoria Holt.

Thanks for the interview, Taylor. I loved learning more about you…and am a fan for life after reading Lancaster House and Middle Aisle

To check out these and other books written by Taylor Dean, visit her website. And don’t forget to leave a comment (even if it’s just to tell me your favorite candybar). I’ll announce the winner of Taylor’s books on Monday.

Char Signature

37 thoughts on “The line between crazy…and a Giveaway

  1. The books sound great. Nice interview. And I’m struck by how many of us visiting your site have a proclivity for Snickers. 😉 Oh, and I can’t believe that author is a grandmother!

    • These were great books. I tried to read slow, but still snarfed them down too fast. I’m always sad when I finish a good book. And I agree…she looks way too young to be a grandma. (Long live Snickers!)

  2. Not a writer, but do have in my possession the key to our building’s boiler room…and can’t walk past the candy isle without touching the mini-Snickers bags. Good enough? And…I’m with Carrie…Ms. Dean a grammy? Please…I’ll have what she’s having…..

  3. Hi Charissa,
    Thank you so much for featuring Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle on your blog today! And thanks for the fun interview too. I LOVE that you LOVED my books! Can’t wait to read yours! I’m so glad to have met a fellow author who I have so much in common with. It’s been a pleasure!

    • The pleasure was mine! Thanks for letting me get to know you better. I’ve got to finish a bunch of books in my Kindle that have sat there for too long, and then I’m going to order some more of your books.

  4. I can totally relate, Taylor. I never wanted to write anything paranormal, but when an agent suggested angels, an idea just popped into my head. Funny how that works! It’s kinda fun to think outside the box like that . . . and scare myself in the process. I love the book that came out of the process. I just hope it finds a home now. 🙂

    Good luck with yours. Sounds like a fun read.

    • Thanks for the comment, Barbara! Your book sounds very interesting–and I wish you success. I’ve learned that I do have a love for paranormal. It’s so different, and takes us out of everyday life. It’s a great escape. I might write another paranormal–we’ll see if another plot takes my fancy! Hope your paranormal novel does well!
      -Taylor

  5. These sound great – I’ll have to add them to my ever-growing to-read list! I’m intrigued by the line between sane and crazy since I find myself crossing it at times. But then, all writers probably need to be a little crazy and if they’re not, then writing will make them that way anyway.

  6. I love to see a mother and daughter talking story! I have never read a paranormal romance, but these sound intriguing. I’d love to know how your daughter’s book is coming. Best wishes!

    • That’s the funny thing, Naomi . . . she never wrote her paranormal story! But I can’t thank her enough for challenging me to branch out. However, she’s working on an interesting plot right now that intrigues me. It’s all about famous authors who’ve died in mysterious ways, to include Edgar Allen Poe. Just listening to her tell me about her research has been very interesting. I sincerely hope she finishes it and publishes it!
      -Taylor

      • Very intriguing! And so sweet that you and your daughter encourage each other. My kids are both writers, and it is wonderful to have our own little family critique group. I wish you and daughter great success in whatever genre you choose.

  7. Favorite candy bar: Twix, but you already know that (Kit Kat is second and Snickers probably 3rd). Did you say you’re sending 2 pounds of candy bars to the winner for your contest? 😉

    That Lancaster House book vaguely reminds me of the movie Shutter Island with Leonardo di Caprio. Did you see it? It was scary with no romance though.

    • I haven’t seen that movie, but there was great romance in this book. And Carrie was the one that gave away chocolate to her winner today (and I’ve been crying ever since that I didn’t win it; just kidding). I think I like Twix better than Snickers too…although I will tell you that whatever I’m eating at the moment is my FAVORITE…just because chocolate in any variety makes me happy.

  8. Great interview, Char. I loved how you worked chocolate into it. 🙂 I’m not one for reading romance, but I do like reading about relationships. I don’t think I’ve ever read a paranormal novel unless stories about ghosts count. I used to love watching X-Files. I think it’s wonderful that Taylor wrote her novels following a challenge from her daughter. Maybe a challenge takes some of the stress away from a writing project?

    • I can work chocolate into anything (except sushi. That doesn’t work so good). I don’t read much paranormal…but this one had my riveted attention because I was torn between thinking it could be ‘in her head’ or ‘weird real’.

  9. The books sound great, I want me some of that! I like Snickers a lot but I wouldn’t pick it as my favourite bar, unless it is chopped up and smashed into vanilla ice-cream and then it’s fantastic.

    • These two books were amazing, Vanessa! Get some. And snickers in ice cream sounds delish! Thanks for the idea. Last night we had drumstick ice cream (those chocolate covered icecream cones crushed up in icecream. It was pretty good, but I bet snickers would beat it.

  10. My dear, you need to stop doing this to me! Here i am, just getting ready to switch off the computer for the night & then i thought to myself, “i’ll just read one little blog post from Char.” & now my to-read-list has grown even longer! & i just bought myself like 4 books (ok 2 are for practical reasons) while buying 8 for my son! i wish i did have a wand & could have magic bookshelves with shrunk when i didn’t need it & open up when i’m looking for a book… there is no wall space left in the apartment… sigh! Well, thanks for the great review & interview! Now i’m really off to bed… yawn!

    • These were fun, gripping reads. And the author turned out to be LDS too, which I didn’t know when I read her books. Hope you guys are all doing good! We’re freezing here. It was -3 outside today and all the trees were crystallized. Very pretty, but I almost had frostbite taking pictures outside because I had to take my gloves off to use the camera.

      • Yikes! I sure don’t miss those kind of temps! I posted a video on our blog of Piper crawling. She is growing so fast.

  11. My “to-read” list just got bigger. Can’t wait to read them. The plot sounds very intriguing. Great interview, too. Always entertaining and able to bring a smile to my face at the end of a long day…

    • Ah, sis! I love when you stop by and leave a comment. By the way, did you get that GW poster I left at your house for your birthday? I liked it.

  12. Stories that blur this line fascinate me! These sound like great books – adding to my reading list and probably moving them up closer to the top based on the theme 🙂 great interview!

    • Hope you like them, Arlene. I had the first one on my kindle for several months (from downloading free) before I finally read it…and I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled by both of them.

  13. Pingback: Ghostly voices, murder, and Puritans | Joy in the Moments

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